POLITICS

Al-Qaida And Taliban Now Threaten Pakistan's Survival

03/28/2008 02:45 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Radical elements are now a threat to the survival of Pakistan, prompting Pakistani military leaders to recognize that more aggressive efforts are needed to get the elements under control, Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell said yesterday in testimony before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

"In the last year, the number of terrorist attacks and deaths were greater than the past six years combined," McConnell said in an unusually strong warning about Pakistan's political problems. "What's happened is Pakistan has now recognized that this is an existential threat to their very survival."

Pakistani leaders, he said, are "starting a process to be more aggressive in getting control of the situation." The elements include al-Qaeda and Taliban members who for years were nurtured by Pakistani military and intelligence officials, prompting U.S. lawmakers and others to question the sincerity of the government's effort.

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